tv Charlie Rose PBS December 10, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a look at the feinstein report, the report of the intelligence committee of the senate about the early days after 9/11 and the activities of the cia. we talk to peter baker of the new york times and david ignatius, a columnist for the washington post. >> i must say, charlie, even for people who followed this issue carefully over the years, this report is absolutely rivetting, it is painful to read, people will read it, i think, with some of the sense of anguish that people involved in the program felt at the time. >> rose: we continue this evening's with rosario dawson, one of the star of chris rock's new film "top five". >> he pushes people to think about things they may not otherwise think about and forces them to laugh sometimes as things they could not potentially imagine or fathom laughing at because he has an
incredible perspective on things and that is something i hold very dear. i like people looking at the world around them and making observations and really balancing and checking them out and playing with the ideas and comparing them and has done that in a brilliant way and i love that. >> rose: conclude with hector monsegur, a former hacker who cooperated with the fbi. >> who will guard the guards, charlie? the security, the people that we hire with tax dollars, are not really secure themselves. so they are our attack vectors. do you understand? >> rose: i do. it seems like we are at a bad place. we are in a bad place. we are in a really bad place and as time goes on, you will continue to hear stories like oh the chinese government has infiltrated the post office, right? or the russian government has infiltrated the sewage system. it is going to continue to happen. >> rose: peter barack, david
ignatius, rosario dawson, and hector monsegur when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is provided by the >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services world wide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: today the senate swell generals committee rhythms add highly controversial government document called the fine sign, feinstein report, the result of a five-year investigation, into the cia's detention program from the, and
the years following the 9/11 terror attacks, those who read it say it is a damning indictment of the cia's use of enhanced interrogation, the report claims that such techniques were far more brutal than previously revealed. it concludes the agency's oversight of those activities was inadequate and despite its brutality enhanced interrogation did not lead to actionable intelligence. this morning dianne feinsten chairman of the intelligence committee spoke from the senate floor about her decision to release the report. >> history will judge us by our commitment to adjust society governed by law and the willingness to face an ugly truth and say, never again. >> rose: there are many who disagree with feinstein's decision, cia officials who reviewed the report say it does not paint an accurate picture of the activities, that the intelligence they obtained helped head off deadly terror attacks and any excesses described in the report ended years ago. many critics also worried the
release of such incendiary information could spark violence abroad, it could even they say cost american lives, this weekend former president george w. bush spoke to cnn refuting the claims in the report. >> we are fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the cia serving on our behalf. these are patriots and whatever the report says if it democrats their contributions to our country, it is way off base. >> rose: we have covered both sides of the debate, many times on this program, the core issue has to do with humanity and torture, general stanley mcchrystal told me in january 2013 he was not a believer in enhanced interrogationqj?uq(rgiques. >> some people say you could get information. the point is both are true, sometimes you do, sometimes you don't, the reality is the effect it the has on you, i think when you become the torturer, something happens to that force. i think it has a i don't receive
effect overtime. i think you move down a path that is difficult to come back from. and i think that happens to individuals involved and i think it happens to the force. >> rose: however here is what former vice president dick cheney has to say in june of in year. >> we were there under especially extraordinary circumstances and i took a lot of positions, positions i still hold that generated criticism enhanced interrogation techniques, and i don't hesitae to defend what we did. >> and former deputy director mike morell said in january of this year. >> the people who say it it wast effective want this to be easy. legal and effective. then you get to the morality question. you get to the question of is it okay to do these kind of things to other human beings? and reasonable people can differ on that. and there is a reasonable debate to be had. but it is very important for the, i think for the american
people to understand that when you have that debate about whether it is okay to do this to other human beings you also have to have the debate about the flip side of the coin, charlie which is if you don't use these techniques, americans are going to die, what is the morality of that question? >> rose: joining me now from washington, peter barack, chief white house, peter baker, and david ignatius, thanks both for coming, peter let me begin with you, what is the what i house attitude about about this? we have seen what the president said but did they want this released and for what reason? >> well, they say they want this released and they said transparency is important, a way of turning the corner, but at the same time as you saw the president said in his written statement he put out today he wants to not refight old arguments he want this to kind of be the finale to this debate which has been raging now for almost a decade in this country, he wants people to think and understand that he considers these techniques to be wrong and he has banned them, and by order
of 2009 and not focussing back to them again but he doesn't want to spend a lot more time relitigating over what happened in the last administration. >> rose: so why does feinstein think it is so important to release this. >> she spent five years looking into this, no doubt the most comprehensive version of any report we have seen publicly about these issues and this program, so i think she wanted to get out there in public so that people understood what happened, what didn't happen, and to make sure that it doesn't happen again. i mean, you know, vice president biden asked if this was a stain on our reputation, he said no a badge of honor owning up to mistakes, there is another side, the cia folks who were involved in this, the former bush administration folks involved in this they see this as a partisan report, they see this as a way of deprotecting attention and responsibility by the lawmakers themselves who they said were briefed at least in part on some of the things going on and wanted nothing to do with it.
>> rose: you know the cia as well as anyone i know, as a reporter and columnist, they have said to me they think that they had legal authority to do what they did, that they disclosed what they did and they think that the report is neither fair nor complete. >> no question former and current agency officials like brown things this is a contentious report for the prosecution, they feel that they were given authority from the beginning, indeed they requested the justice department legal opinion saying that the 12 techniques their consultants had advised them to use were legal, there is a passage in the report that describes how condoleezza rice was briefed on those 12 techniques and then the justice department decision that the, but the president was not to be briefed himself. i must say, charlie, even for
people who follow this issue carefully, over the years, this report is absolutely rivetting, it is painful to read, people will read it i think with some of the sense of anguish that people involved in the program felt at the time, some of the most poignant passages are about medical officers from the cia, about younger cia employees watching the early water boarding of detainees, watching as people were treated in these ways, well up with tears, one man just says i can't, basically i can't continue with this, it is a train wreck. you read over this dark history of these few years i think with emotion and the hope is that by putting it all out in such eviscerating detail finally it may be possible to put this behind us. >> rose: is that the idea, somehow we can in the only come clear on this, i am not saying clean but come clear on this and at the same time set the direction as to what the country
and what the president thinks is -- >> i think the -- >> should do in a national emergency? >> it is precisely that charlie, it is finally to make a full accounting of this. it is what senate feinstein has been so passionate about since they seek this us in 2009, i think there are aspects of in report that are too contentious and trying to hard to make the case but what senator feinstein wanted to do is prepare a report that was so devastating that it really would draw a bright line forever in american history to say, never do this again and this report is so powerful it may have accomplished what she hoped. >> rose: also questions are raised as to the effectiveness of torture, do we get a conclusion in this, peter, about whether it accomplishes the purpose it is intended to beyond the question as to whether we should do it and whether it was legal at the time? >> that is an interesting question, there is a morality question is it the right thing
to do and more question, the efficacy does it make sense out of it do you get out what you want? and this report concludes that the cia has vastly overstated the value of the intelligence it got out of the program, in fact, it outlines 20 case studies where the cia claimed, you know, results from the program that helped thwart attacks and put them ahead of the ball in the war against al qaeda and then dissect those case studies and say, no, in fact they didn't get what they said they got out of it or from other sources or could have got it other ways and basically questioned the whole value of that program from start to finish. now the cia doesn't agree with that and that's a really interesting point because you have john brennan in there the director of the cia, appointee of president obama and he says, look, i agree with the president for banning it but i think there was value in this program and that we shouldn't, you know, condemn the cia officers who were involved in it because they
were doing what they were told to do and told was legal, so you had this positioning where the president is caught between these two different points of view. >> rose: peter, thank you so much for coming in, i know you are on deadline and i know you are writing but thank you again. >> always good to be with you, thank you. >> rose: pleasure. david, speak to this issue of the effectiveness of it and the cia's position and can they make the case and finally, were they given the opportunity to make the case to this committee? david? >> this question of effectiveness is the hardest thing for the outsider to evaluate. >> they make this with the 20 case studies in each instance where intelligence value is claimed for the harsh interrogation the intelligence could have been obtained other ways. >> cia officers who read the report all 6,000 pages of it, in fact, say that the way that the committee is organized the
intelligence amounts to cherry picking and their arguments about these 20 cases is not convincing, it is done with hindsight that they look back and find the thing that could have told you what you ended up getting, a good example is the intelligence that led to targeting osama bin laden in abbottabad, officers say whatever you decide about the moral question, the value of intelligence gained from harsh interrogation in identifying who the courier was who kuwaiti was servicing osama bin laden in abbottabad, it is not clear that would have emerged without these interrogations. that is an argument of dispute about facts, i think historians will pick over that, i should just note, as important and in the end valuable as i think this report is, it is not the kind of judgment that historians would make and leaves out the context, what it felt like to be the
director of the cia when you were receiving 50 threats a day, when it was believed that a second wave of attacks was coming, the second wave may have radiological attacks that is really not there, and also the argument that former officials like george tenet make they were never asked to comment, discuss, explain these issues, you know, you don't want to have a prosecution -- in a newspaper story where you make accusations and don't get the person who is being charged a chance to respond, and i think that that stay legitimate criticism of the report. people should have a chance to answer the charges that are made against them. >> rose: why didn't they do that? >> they argue at the time that they were compiling the report legal investigations were still going on and it wasn't appropriate, they also argue that they look carefully through all of the statements that were made by key people by george tenet, mike hayden, former director tors of the cia and
taken their viewpoint into account even granting that i still think it is hard to refute the argument hey you should have given us a chance too respond. >> both the defense department and state department have put embassies and the lake on kind of alert. what is the expectation, what are they worried about,? >> charlie that one of the tough parts of this as we know from news reporting, secretary of state john kerry phoned the senate intelligence committee chair, chairwoman, senator feinstein and said we have warnings from foreign leaders that they fear an up tick in violence if this report is leaked and so obviously the people have been calling the united states expressing concern about what might happen. obviously from reading our morning knew newspapers we know the middle east is in a very fragile, delicate state right
now, a coalition trying to fight isis that is very shaky, just try to stand up and this report could weak ken and destabilize it, an iraqi government that is similarly very fragile and who knows what effect the report will have. even given all of those points the idea you could indefinitely suppress information like this, just doesn't hold up to me and what senator feinstein said in morning on the senate floor was the there are always arguments for delay. the middle east will be unstable at any point in the future you can think of, so let's go ahead and get this out and make a clean rest of it. >> rose: david you are a successful writer, spy novels are there things in here you couldn't imagine writing? >> what struck they and what makes this a document worth your viewers reading is the human side of it, the cable sent back from the first use of water
boarding against al qaeda member named abu sent pack by a medical officer who was assigned trying to recount what it was like in the room as water boarding was used, i mean this is a doctor a person never could have imagined that he would have in this situation. other poignant human examples like that, both of the cia officers involved and then of the arab detainees and you read this and it is just a kind of thing that is so nightmarish it is hard to believe in our recent history at all it actually happened. this is not an episode of homeland, this really happened and you read it and do think, wow, i am glad i never hahad to face decisions like the people faced and wow i sure hope we never have to do this again. >> rose: david, thank you so much. thank you, charlie. >> rose: david ignatius from the washington post. back in a moment, stay with us.
>> >> rose: rosario dawson is here, she starts stars in a new film along with chris rock, the film is called "top five", she played a journalist writing a part on a comedian turned film star, "hollywood reporter" says it allows dawson to reveal a comic range we have never seen before. here is the trailer for the film. >> what's up this is andre allen when i listen so satellite radio i listen to serious hits one. >> just make it funnier. >> funnier? >> put a little scairchg on it. >> what is up mother (bleep) this is andre (bleep) alan. scratch my nuts that is. >> first take was good. >> >> in 2005 "time" magazine voted today's guest the funniest man in america. >> by 2010 the former stand-up hit it abou big with hand me thr one, two and three. >> you hammer time.
it's hammer time. you can also see him getting married to erica long. >> can we do this on camera? >> not on camera. the camera doesn't exist. >> i don't feel like doing funny movies anymore. i don't feel funny. >> you give me a couple of really honest things i will be more than fair. >> this is chelsea brown, she is doing a story on me, no snitching. >> come to me, baby girl i will turn over like an apple pie. >> you just ate an apple pie you father mother. >> you need to wake up this mother (bleep). >> look at this black man trying to get a taxi in new york city. taxi. >> do you think the wedding is hurt me -- hurting me? >> this thing flopped, you are talking dancing with the stars. >> what am i going yo do. >> in the conference room. >> why don't you just skip the hard questions and go right to something good. >> how come you aren't fun funny
anymore? >> she is hysterical. >> this is my town. anything you ned -- >> welcome, sir. >> i got married a lot of times, i wasn't into the wedding, i should have been into the guy. >> a ass you should be into the girl. >> my name is -- then i might let biggy get in there. >> oh, my god. >> ♪ >> hey, you mind if i get -- i need this. thank god -- i got a lock on it. give it to your boy. >> rose: welcome. >> thank you so much. >> rose: good to have you here. >> it is great to be here. >> rose: how long have you known chris rock. >> 16 years now. >> rose: describe the relationship. >> you know, it is -- we agree to disagree a lot.
we have a very good banter, which i think luckily we can translate to this movie. it has been interesting to us for many years and i hope many people find it so. >> rose: that means you are different people. >> we are very different people but i think it is funny lake talk about things he is a feminist, activist in his own way and does it with his writing and stand-up and he does it in his own way and i love that, he really pushes people to think about things they might not other ways think about and forces them to laugh sometimes at things they could not potentially imagine a fathom laughing at because he has an incredible perspective on things and perspective is something i hold very dear, i like people looking at the world around them and making some observations, really balancing, checking them out, playing with the ideas and comparing them and always done that in a brilliant way and i love that, he makes me think, he makes me laugh and pushes me and chance me, he is awesome. >> rose: he wrote this piece with you in mind. >> uh-huh. i know. >> rose: what was it about you that you think he was writing
to? >> that i -- i think -- >> rose: it was a challenge you had your own mind? >> uh-huh. i think very much so. i think he likes the way that we have kind of gotten to know each other over the years and talked and, you know, the things i appreciate, i speernt really loved his documentary good hair, i don't know if you saw it, it is so amazing and i loved the kind of father he is and just the person that he is and i think he jokes that the this is the movie he felt like if he didn't direct and do really great with that no one would ever let him direct anything anymore so he really brought it and really pushed it and he wasn't going to call a bunch of his friends to come on board for something he thought was going to be a stinking ship he had high aspirations for it and that's why he wanted me on board. >> rose: the central judgment is he is finally been as good in a movie as he is in stand-up. >> yes. >> he finally paid as much attention to all the elements of a movie as he has paid to stand-up. >> yes.
he treated this like a stand-up and worked on the script for three years beforehand and when you watch his stuff, really seamless about watching his special and cutting between him and different outfits and listening to him tell a joke which feels like, because he is so familiar with the way he is and demeanor it seems like he is telling that joke for the first time but told it 100 times before he shares wit anyone and do that with the character and not looking like chris rock in a movie but being andre alan and i think there is enough familiarity for you to look at it and say okay he is being a comedian and an actor, okay i can the i see pier in the story and give him the benefit of the doubt but he did a lot of hat in an incredible play and he is working with acting coach on this mauve he was really determined to have to make sure he wasn't chris rock at all times and listen i am directing this and writing this and producing this and i am acting in this and the i don't want any part to be misconstrued or wrong or kind of, you know, kind of done in a way that i dialed it in because i was busy doing
something else, please call me on it and it is one of the first things when he first approached me with the role i said this is great, congratulations, in is really awesome, well done on the script, have fun with that and he said, what? can wait a minute. you have to be in this movie with me and i said, you know, my grandmother passed a few years s before and i had just done a slew of movies, give me shelter, sent me into a trance and i just felt really exhausted and i just wanted to be home and i wanted to be with my family and really something to be said for taking the time to mourn and i needed to do that and my brother read the script and he said this is sweet, you need to do this movie, you will be home in new york with your family, you will be working with your friend, like talk to him about it, if you have some input you want to put into this character i am sure he would much rather hear you say let's collaborate on this than no and that's it, i talked to chris about this ad nauseum and said i have, auditioned him for his own movie and this was, you know, i am not
used to doing comedy, i was like nervous, there is a lot. >> rose: chelsea when you first saw it in the script and after you tweaked her to become what you thought she was. >> you know, i think he had a really good basis for it because he did write this for me, there was a lot that felt really connected to and the really familiar with, but i wanted to push it, you know, i wanted to really, you are going to have this woman shadowing this man around all day and a fan of his, and also a single mom and sober and she has real issues and things in her life she is not just going to take it when he says yeah, drinking criminal had no effect on my career and this relationship is totally great and no robs with it and just going to call him on that and say i get to spend all day with you and never got a chance to meet you before and not walk away from this experience saying i wish i would have asked and pushed harder on this, no, as a matter of fact because i work for "the new york times", you need me, because this movie is going to fail, without me doing some kind of review, you going
to let me talk to you this way and you are going to let me push you and takes advantage, and i like she goes toe to toe with him and i wanted to push this as far as she possibly could. >> as a director, how is he? >> amazing. actually. you know, that is one of those things you are about to work with a friend and you have, you know, you have ideas, and, i am going to push you, he would listen to me when we need this dramatic pause or different things because i know my drama and i would bite my nails and get nervous he would say this is going to be funny, trust me you will work again and, you can show your face in public and trust me, i know my comedy, and i felt like, what is so different about us and what is so great about us is that much more developed and that much more push because he doesn't, he doesn't flight you, it is not like he has had all of these incredible talents on here and so desperately to show she the
big guy. there wasn't like this, i am sure he has a huge ego but it didn't feel like that, it felt like he wanted everybody to be great and there are no cameos in this movie, everyone has a shining solo moment and pushed that for me as well and it was amazing, you know, i call him, he says he is a protector, you know, he says he wasn't the director for but the protector, and i called him the conductor, all of these incredible instruments, tracy morgan and, you know, like whoopi goldberg and jerry seinfeld, a i mean, just amazing, amazing, amazing people an he would go i let them hit the hey note and okay they are feeling pleased and start to run out of pretty and just keep it going and oh, the guy with his back to the audience, maybe the guy not on camera right now he knows how far he can push you and he gets that thing out of everybody and he did that with every single person and they
shine in this movie and he didn't back up off, he said, you know, on the previous films we e would do a show right during or after and save his jokes for that special he was going to do and he didn't do that, he said we are going to, i am going to put everything into it and i want all of you to do the same and we did,. >> your deal with drama, his field has been comedy, is this drama or comedy? >> as he says it i agree this is drama with a lot of jokes, a lot and lot of jokes but really hard-hitting i think it is very raw, this is a film because we didn't do it with a big studio and did it more independently he should make this sort of very adult, r rated film and really go there and hit certain punches and hit certain jokes and take thing in a certain direction you probably would not have been able to do had there been several chefs in the kitchen well we have to appeal to and do it this way. >> rose: there was one chef in the kitchen, the producer, scott rude den. >> yes. >> what is his role hear and what influences did he have on
chris? >> chris, you know he worked with him before and he said i never went to you before with anything but this movie is really special and i want to make in this new york and with the locations i want and make wit the arguments i want to make it with and it is going to be really, really special if you back me and scott said yes and it was great, scott would be there, every single day, he would have his assistants there buying properties in china and developing other -- i mean it was 24/7, the man doesn't sleep, and he -- you know, he just would be there kind of laughing and maybe talking and stuff and any time this was an issue you went to chris, chris was really on top of it and on point, this would be this moment you feel, scott is just there and not saying anything and look up on the wide shot, the umbrellas are open and he says it is not going to cut have, and have all of these people in a frenzy, how did he see that? that wasn't his assistants or anything else, that man is brilliant, and he is in the position he is in and he has the notoriety he has because he earned it. >> rose: and extraordinary
taste. >> very much so. >> rose: role the tape here is the first scene. >> she is going to be latina and may even be gay so we will have an asian president and w we will have another handicapped president. >> hold on we won't have a man difficult capped president. >> yes, we will, we already had one. >> i am talking out of the closet handicapped president. >> what do you mean out of the closet in. >> i have nothing against the handicapped but not everybody is as liberal as me, you run for president, you don't roll for president, you run a campaign, but don't roll a campaign. >> you are horrible. >> i am not horrible. >> that is sick. >> what is wrong with you? >> i am sick, i am the one voting for mexican lesbian handicapped president. >> literally i female when i watch this, it is like chris has this thing about wanting to just make me go, oh, like jaw drop and just like, flagger gassed that is his favorite thing to do and it is just .. we volley back and forth with this, i hear you
are saying this to me but you need the hear this back and it goes and goes and goes, we may disagree a lot but it is awesome. >> rose: as a film maker making films which he is not in. >> 100 percent, i think that is one of the things, i mean, not that mel brooks or woody allen -- i think he is following in that lead of great comedians who could absolutely transition and wear that hat very proudly and very well of being a proper director. >> rose: clint eastwood as well. >> uh-huh, i think really, mel gibson son a lot of people who have turned, can do, ethan hawking jewel difficult -- who can work on both sides, angelina jolie is doing it right now, people are capable of doing that and definitely one of those people because he has a voice and has stories he wants to tell and perspective he wants to share. >> rose: what does rosario dawson want? >> everything. i have. >> you know, i have a lot of things i do all the time i am working on all the time. i did take that break after -- that i
needed after this movie, i am glad i didn't do it before this movie, i did it after and got to end on a high note. >> rose: after this film? >> after this film, i didn't work for a year. >> rose: what did you learn? >> it wasn't like so i took so much of a break, i have my voting organization, ten years, latino, on the board of a lot of organizations from va, to girls club and worked hard with and a company i just started in ghana, it is a fashion line called studio 19, as a social enterprise to make social eman packet with the communities there, it is not like i wasn't working but didn't do stuff in front of the cameras so much and that was amazing, i like producing, i like directing, i like writing, i love singing, i lake a lot of things, i lick traveling and being with family my feandz families and friends and sometimes, well, the new game that is coming out right now is the arc of knights and all about that, that is going to be my christmas, basically, you know, but. >> rose: you going to give it for receive it? >> i am buying it for myself, and then i will len it to my
brother, maybe, if me is nice. >> everyone from jane fonda to doris and people who have gotten a chance, like angela who had such a tremendous influence open me and these women, they enjoyed every single step of the way, talking to pat mitchell, it is so much better, i want to be in my 30s and enjoy it and thirties and forties and fifties and sixties and watch tyson, still be just magnificent and tremendous on stage and go how lucky i am that i am this the old test profession in the world, storyteller and stay rooted enough i can do it potentially to the day i die and that is a beautiful, beautiful thing. so i hope i can i get get to do in this this in all of the different ways. >> rose: and tell the stories. >> you can do it on the. >> rose: thanks for coming. >> thanks for having me.
>> rose: "top five" is in select theaters, it goes wide on friday, december 12th. back in a moment, stay with us. >> >> rose: anonymous is am honk the biggest online vigilante groups they break into computer systems of corporations and governments hector mons fur was one of the most instrumental and steered cyber attacks on visa, mastercard, paypal, sony and the u.s. senate, in 2011 he infiltrated the 2 missian in support of protesters at the eight of the arab spring. later that year, he was apprehended after has beening into an fbi affiliate, he became an informant, allowing the government to log his acts as he engaged in hacking activities with his former piers. the fbi says he has helped them prevent more than 300 cyber attacks in systems controlled by the military and nasa. i sat down with his recently for his first television interview and here is that conversation.
how were you when you saw your first computer. >> i saw my first computer when i was probably eight or nine. it is when i lived in ithaca, new york for a while, and it was cool, because, you know, i was bored, it was during the summer, and there was nothing to do over there. i had no friend, no family so basically my family inside a little house and pretty much there all day every day and we, it just so happened that my father or his wife saw an ad or knew somebody that were pretty much giving away a computer, old apple system, brought it to the house, old dot matrix printerrer and sitting there in front of it and in wonder, right? in is something relatively foreign to me, so by tinkoff-saxo everything with the system and learning how it tinkering with the system .. i was able to escape from the current situation we were going through.
>> so you were self-taught? >> absolutely, i had no one to -- everybody around me were into something but it wasn't computers. you know,? >> rose: i mean, was it a passion then? i mean once you had that idle time and you had that device, did you -- i mean, did it feel like, my, god, it is the best thing that ever happened to me? >> close to it. absolutely. i felt like i could create, which is the most interesting thing, even a simple, as a child i was eight years old, i would create a document, just write into it print it out 1,000 times, wastepaper, it might seem ridiculous but it gave me a chance to create something. >> how did you start with has beening. >> it started with my interest in cola lumpur, i needed a way to get online and in those days getting online meant credit cards and you had to pay social
service provider so i needed to find a way that would be cheap or free so i would be able to access the internet without being burdened to my grandmother who was really poor. and also, you know, growing up i watched films like war games and an old school film, also watched even hackers or sleepers, films that portrayed hacking so obviously my interest would be peaked as soon as i was online continuously without interruption. >> rose: you were known as sabu. >> yeah, i was known as -- i chose that name, probably around '97, before that i had a whole different name, it was random name, which i forgot. >> rose: yes. >> sabu. >> that is the name of a professional wrestler. >> yes, i used to watch him with my father, before my father went to prison, me and my father would sit there and watch you know, ecw at 2:00 in the morning
and the coolest guy was the guy jumping off of buildings and, you know, doing reckless things so his motto was suicidal homicidal and genocidal while he is doing that he is jumping off buildings and i am hacking i decided i need a name, a moniker. >> i will go with sabu he is pretty interesting. >> so tell me about anonymous. >> oh, anonymous is or should be an idea, anonymous is an idea, an yd where we could all be anonymous, we could all work together as a crowd, united, we could raise and fight against oppression. that's what anonymous is. >> rose: and then there was -- >> that was you could say was more of a mistake, it was a group that had to be created, because what we wanted to do was something that many anonymous members were not ready for.
were not accepting of it. at the time anonymous was more focused on like social protesting and low scale hacking. they weren't thinking outside the box. so once we did a certain hack, it gained a lot of attention, notoriety because it was a media -- media and security and we kind of got some game for it, that's when we decided to focus on wolsec because there were people in anonymous who didn't want to take the heat. >> rose: tell me about the feeling when you are hacking. >> oh, a thrill. it is actually exciting. it depends on your goal, obviously, i mean, if you are hacking to learn, the thrill is proving your concept, we call these proof of concepts, poc. once you could prove your concept then you have that thrill. >> rose: give an example of a concept. >> if you are trying to -- if
you try to prove an exploit, like a mathematician who pro proves a theory, create an algorithm, and if it works, it checks out with his colleagues, you know, then that is his success. in a case of an exploit we find a vulnerability in a web application or some sort of software. >> rose: tell me how you operated the, how many hacks did you do? >> thousands,. >> rose: what was the biggest? >> my biggest hack to me that actually did something was when i participated in operation tunisia when i helped the 2 in addition, 2 missian people get their revolution. >> rose: you started, it started the arab spring. >> yes, it started? tunisia and it went insane, it was amazing, finally i was able to do something that contributed to society regardless of whether i was at home on the lower east side in the projects, hiding behind a computer. >> rose: how did that make you feel? >> wonderful, great, i felt like
i was finally able to do something to help people. it was just -- it was hard, right? >> rose: i mean, that is a long way. >> sure. >> rose: using social media and using hacking to influence a revolution. >> uh-huh. >> rose: from targeting companies so that there is monetary gain. >> uh-huh. >> rose: right? >> absolutely. >> rose: two very different things. you did both?. well, yeah you could say that. i mean, i gained access to companies and when you access these companies automatically you have access to the database you have the credit cards instantly right there. it is not a matter of chasing down these credit cards and looking for the credit cards specifically. you are breaking into machines who have access to them instantly. so, yeah, i had access to the credit cards. >> rose: when did you know the fbi was on to you? >> several days before -- probably several days to a couple of weeks before my arrest, because i would come
downstairs, take the kids to school and there is a random con edison truck in front of my building. how often do you see a con edison truck on the lower east side. >> rose: it should have been an indicator right there. >> you know the greatest indication? >> what? >> the mailman was hanging out with the exxon edison guy in front of my building. kind of random. so i knew something was off. >> rose: and the night the agents showed up around your door. >> eightish, 9:00ish and they knock on the door and say police, mind you, we are not doing anything illegal so i am pretty sure -- i am pretty sure it was didn't police at the door i said all right, guys, hold on a moment, i walked to the door and spoke to my brother and i said listen, just chill, relax. let me handle this. i went to the door, and here we are. we have a whole bunch of fbi agents in the hallway. i remember it was at least 14, 15 of them up and down the
staircase doing verticals, we had some guys in suits in the corner, around the corner, on my hallway and, you know, they basically pulled me out into the hallway and said, you know, we are glad you opened the door in time because we were about to smash it in. all right what is the problem. >> rose: that's what you said? >> yeah. >> why are you here? >> yes. what is up? how can i help you they said well we know who you are. right? we know who you are. we know what you are doing, and we also know you have some kids in the house, so to keep it simple, you can either cooperate with us and come downtown with us and be back in the morning, or we are going to call acs and take the kids away, it is your call. you make the decision. so it is clear we had an understanding that my weakness. >> rose: with your kids. >> with does kids. this he did their homework. props to them, much respect but that was disgraceful, that type
of situation. i would have loved to fight my case. it would have been beautiful. but unfortunately i was in a situation where i had to lose these two beautiful girls that were innocent and young and had nothing to do with any of this and why would i assist them in helping them create emotional complexes that would haunt them the rest of their life? i would rather take the weight, fine, by all means than have them go through this situation. of being taken away and lost in the -- >> rose: in order to keep your kids you had to do what? >> i had to go down town and admit to my crimes and cooperate with them. >> rose: how hard was that? >> one of the hardest decisions of my life and also one of the easiest because the children were involved i am not going to choose an idea or a measurement of strangers over these little girls so. it was a half-and-half situation. >> rose: so you went to work for the fbi? >> not that i went to work for the fbi it is that i was forced to have my computer logged by
the fbi and it was difficult, it was very hard, but i was able to manage around it. >> rose: the fbi says that you helped them prevent more than 300 cyber attacks on our government. >> yeah. >> rose: on the military. >> uh-huh. >> nasa. what did you do? >> well, here is the interesting part. what i was doing before my arrest was unifying hackers, right? that was part of what i really did. that was the thing that made me so popular for whatever reason. unifying hackers, bridging the language gaps or bridging the hatred between groups or nationalities. so by being, so by being
someone, iranian hackers and israelly hackers and indian hackers who come and share their knowledge and still accomplish their goals, probably on a greater scale, they also put me in a situation where when i was logged by the fbi they got to see attacks the whole time that were taking place against the infrastructure of the united states government. so with that being said, i was able to intercept attacks that were happening against the government and share wit the government. so they could fix these issues. >> rose: but also you took down how many? eight of the world's top hackers? >> well, you could say i took them down. >> rose: well they believe you took them down. >> i didn't identify anybody, or point my finger at anybody, i never asked a question what is your name? can i get your ip address? where do you live. >> but would they have been taken down without you? >> absolutely. realistically, absolutely. >> rose: but with you there was a huge advantage of having
you there on their side. >> yes. because they had logs in the computer, i was there, i was essentially told do what it is you do, do not attack any american interests, any government interests so when you are told that guess what i am going to do, i am going to continue to do exactly what i did prior to my arrest, right? so what was i doing prior to my arrest? i was uniting hackers and activists from around the world, correct? after my arrest, i am doing the same exact thing. unfortunately now there are logs, that's the part that really hurt me the most. >> rose: tell me about jeremy hammond. >> an interesting character. he is not as they portrayed him to be. he was just a random activist who had some hacking skills and he wanted to be a part of low sec like many of the hackers. unfortunately for them it was only a team of six, losec but he hung around us and worked with us, we communicated daily, and
once wall sec met its end he participated with operation anti-security. >> rose: you know what some of them are saying, they say you coerced them. >into doing some stuff. >> it is kind of difficult. the question is, it bothers me a little bit because prior to my arrest, my conversations with people were the same conversations you saw between me and jerry hammonds. oh you are hacking into the government of brazil? awesome, what information did you get? all right let's share that information and put it on twitter. so you are telling me that if i coerce -- what happens with all of the conversations i had prayer to my arrest. nothing has changed. i did not change from what i was doing prior so no there was no coercion. he hacked, i participated, we worked together, same with everybody else. >> rose: prosecutors have revealed that you have been cooperating with them. >> yeah. >> rose: an unusual public
disclosure. >> yeah, kind of, right? from what i gather, doing research most informants are usually held secret. >> rose: exactly. >> until trial and if the trial does not happen they remain secret forever, i didn't go to trial, nobody went to trial, so the exposure is kind of baffling to me to be honest with you. >> rose: do you know why? >> i can't give you their perspective, unfortunately. >> rose: you talked to them. >> but i am sure it has to do with some sort of propaganda, how else would you kill a centralized movement with no leaders if you were to say that there was a leader? and the leader was sabu and he is compromised by the way. what happens after my exposure? if you paid attention to the social atmosphere of anonymous, panic, fear, people began to fall back from working in
anonymous operations. it was dissway receive. it gave people a reason not 0 to participate with anonymous if their so-called leader was compromised. >> rose: i assume part of the government's attitude is about you, public disclosure, you know, that in the end, we will get you. >> uh-huh. >> rose: you cannot hide behind anonymity. we will get you. lack who we got. >> yeah. >> rose: we caught a big fish. >> yeah. yeah. you know what? it wasn't a matter of them just being sophisticated or their having some technology they could use to find me, i made mistakes. i made a lot of mistakes. >> rose: that's how people get caught. >> that's how people get caught. >> what is at this moment as we are talking the worst thing that hackers are capable of doing to
the united states? >> well, it is a good question. and in all reality, there is no security. with that being said, airport security hackers will break right into the airport, power supply systems, turn off the lights and no lights in here, the water system, shut it down, auto pipelines, they will shut down saudi arabia for a day and the price of gasoline will shoot up ten or $20 by tomorrow. bureau of prisons where i was locked up, scatter systems, logic control systems, they could simply open all the cells across the united states. it is a matter of their goals, what they are trying to accomplish. >> rose: you are saying that is accomplishment -- those are accomplishments that can be achieved by people who are working today as hackers? they could do every one of those
things? >> hackers can do more than that. >> rose: it is scary to me. >> it could be scary and it should be an inspiration to the american government to focus on our infrastructuring. >> rose: to make it more hacker proof? >> will, it is not about hacker proof. it is that our way of handling security in this country is competely absurd. for example, instead of educating -- let's say this office right here, where we are all government employees, right, you are the president and so on, and. >> rose: you are in charge of security. >> well, yeah, by all means i will be the security guy. so instead of you telling me, hey, hector, can you educate everybody about their passwords, how to secure their laptops because we have some special information in here we don't want to leak. no that is not what happens n real life what happens is the government which is you, the president would call mantech or raytheon and can you guys come over here and put some software,
don't talk to people about security, install the software and give you a billion dollars for it and here we come with security contractors. we have a sickening remains on security contractors the likes of booze hamilton, booth hamilton, the company edward snowden worked for. who will guard the guards, charlie? how will security the people we pay for, and hire with tax dollars, they are not really secure themselves, so they are our attack verdicts -- attack vectors. >> rose: do you understand? >> i do. >> rose: it seems to me we are in a bad place. >> wither in a bad place, we are in a really bad place and as time goes on, you will continue to hear stories like oh the chinese government has infiltrated the post office, right? or the russian government has infiltrated the sewage system.
it is going to continue to happen. until we change our perspective on security. we need to stop treating security as a contract job and accept security as a way of hive we need to think about, right? we all individually have the responsibility to focus on our security. there is no reason why you fouled have an intern and your e-mail. you should be able to handle your own e-mail. >> rose: can you imagine this, it is said and i have no way to judge, that you were really, really good. >> i will leave it up to people to decide. >> rose: can you imagine that if you had not gone one direction but had ended up in silicon valley -- >> well that's the problem i did end up in silicon valley. i had no connections to the world. here i was, this young poor puerto rican guy from the east side projects where no one knew
i existed, i was profiled by the nypd, i had no formal college education, how was i going to get from there to the silicon valley? i tried. i did my own security company, that failed. so with no connections and no help from anybody, it would have been extremely hard to make it where i needed to be. had i made it to still con centrally and met you when i was 18 and probably pointed in in the right direction. >> rose: right. >> you and i would be having a completely different discussion. >> rose: thank you, hector. >> thank you. >> rose: for more about this program and early episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. >> captioning sponsored by rose communications
captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> rose: funding for "charlie funding for charlie rose has been provided by the coca-cola company, supporting this program since 2002. american express. additional funding provided by -- >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. you are watching
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